Another recent story of a pattern that seems to be emerging. A large group of asylum seekers crossing a relatively open part of border, spotted via other means (camera) and then turning themselves into border agents.
Some might argue that this is an example of why such remote areas might also need more walls. However, it isn’t quite so simple. As the article explains, the dynamic has changed – these aren’t individual mostly Mexican males crossing for seasonal work.
Instead this group is Central American, mostly family groups seeking to enter the asylum process. While they are crossing the border illegally, they aren’t trying too hard to evade border patrol – and instead giving themselves up for processing. Add more border wall in this particular section and other places will be used for similar efforts.
Also as the article points out, the total number of apprehensions has dramatically declined in the last decade.
Another recent story tells us since October, some 25 groups of more than 100 migrants have crossed at the remote entry point of Antelope Wells
Antelope Wells is remote enough that the small staff lives onsite for a week at a time and the crossing is only open from 10am to 4pm. Meanwhile, at the border staff is overwhelmed drug mules can also make crossings.
The President recently cited an example of San Antonio as support for a border wall.
“Everybody knows that walls work. You look at different places they put up a wall, no problem. You look at San Antonio,” Trump said. “You look at so many different places. They go from one of the most unsafe cities in the country to one of the safest cities, immediately, immediately.”
Cuero (rural TX between Houston/San Antonio/Corpus Christi, not border)
Texarkana (East Texas, not border)
Mathis (rural near Corpus Christi, not border)
Elsa (Rio Grande Valley)
Lone Star (rural East Texas, not border)
Balcones Heights (San Antonio metro, not border)
There is really no correlation with border areas and crime and McAllen, Laredo, Brownsville and El Paso all generally tout their relatively low crime rates.
When FBI data was analyzed in 2017 for the nationwide list in 2017, there were five Texas cities that made the list (Odessa, Balch Springs, Houston, Lubbock, Beamont) none of which is along the border.
I have seen it suggested that perhaps Trump intended to refer to El Paso as a city that went from a higher crime rate to lower – as the same example has been used in other occasions. One difficulty with that is in 2005 (a year before the Secure Fence act of 2006), El Paso was ranked as 2nd safest city over 500,000.
There are nine congressional districts along the US/Mexico border. All of them have representatives who oppose a border wall from sea to sea. Many of them are willing to discuss notions of ‘border security’ but are careful to point out that the wall is not border security.
Will Hurd is interesting as the only Republican of the nine as well as the representative that has the longest stretch of border. His district also has some of the most remote and desolate places. The article below describes reasons behind his views including impacts on local communities and overall effectiveness.